My Mk2 Series 1 2.8 injection Ghia saloon has been back on the road now for a couple of years after the freak accident in 2005.
I had just completed an oil change in my garage and was running the engine to circulate the oil. I was standing outside the car with my left leg pressing down on the accelerator when the automatic gearbox, for no reason, jumped into reverse. This forced my leg down on the accelerator which in turn caused the car to wheelspin straight into the garage wall and door frame smashing the drivers door.
The door was still holding the car in the garage but the car was still wheel spinning weaving from side to side smashing the passenger door and both front wings. I managed to reach in and turn off the engine and was shocked and confused at what had just happened.
I just pushed the car back into the garage, shut the door and could not bring myself to even look at it until the insurance surveyor came to assess the damage. He said we could have it written off and receive £2000 or repair it ourselves but only receive £1000. My wife Jan loves this car and by now was in tears running into the house expecting me to do the worst.
Being the soppy sod that I am I had to get this car back to its former glory for Jan.
So for Billing 2005 I was 'Granada-less' and got talking to Maureen and the late great George Kennedy. George being the man that he was totally put us at ease saying 'We’ll get you sorted out I have a pair of wings in my loft and lefty’s got a good passenger door for a start'
A couple of weeks later we made the trip to George & Maureen’s at Bourne End and picked up two new wings, a passenger door and a good set of TRX wheels and tyres – I thought if I was going to restore it I may as well put it back to standard.
In September 2005 we went to Beaulieu Autojumble to look for a drivers door – plenty of Series 2 but no Series 1 doors to be found! I did pick up a door mirror and a second hand Series 1 grille. A week later it was off to ‘Billing 2’ – still no Series 1 drivers doors, again plenty of Series 2, but I did buy a brand new Series 1 grille, 2 new lower bumper blades and some exterior trim all still in Ford wrappers.
Months went by trying to get this drivers door but no joy. These Series 1 parts are getting so hard to get now. Every time I would ring a contact and they had Series 2 doors but no Series 1.
In early summer 2006 we had a knock at the door and there was George & Maureen who had popped by the say 'hello' as they were staying at a nearby caravan site. 'I have this Series 1 saloon for sale are you interested ?' said George but I really wanted to get my own back on the road so had to decline. A few weeks later George rang me 'I’ve broke the saloon you can have the drivers door' – YIPEEEE !!!! What a gent, a year had gone by and yet again George was my saviour.
So another trip up to Bourne End where I got my very nice drivers door, some glass and trim etc. I now had everything I needed to finish the car so the next six months or so (on and off) was spent doing repairs and welding to the 'A' post and assembling doors, wings etc. and stripping the rest of the car ready for a full respray.
A new wheel arch repair section and the respray was carried out by Stuarts body shop in Hilsea, Portsmouth. The next few weeks I spent carefully reassembling the car with new trim, bumpers, grille etc. and finally with the aid of my son in law Roy gave the car a few coats of the finest Autoglym polish. She sailed through the MOT and was at last finished. The first show in 3 years was local at the Hovercraft Museum in Lee On The Solent at Easter 2008 where she got loads of good comments.
So without George I would probably still be looking for that damned drivers door ! Jan and I only wish George could have seen the car finished.
God bless George.